Cain Velasquez has had his eye on Junior dos Santos for awhile

When UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez locks eyes with Junior dos Santos in the Octagon tonight it will be far from the first time the 29-year old Californian will have seen “Cigano” set foot inside the infamous eight-sided cage. In fact, Velasquez has kept Dos Santos on his radar since the hard-hitting Brazilian’s unveiling against Fabricio Werdum even though the bout only took place six months after the unbeaten Velasquez had made his own UFC debut.

Velasquez opened up some about his opponent in an interview where he explained what drew his attention to Dos Santos in 2008 and how he feels his talented adversary stacks up as an opponent.

“I’ve watched him since his first UFC fight with Werdum. He knocked him out in the first round, and Werdum was one of the top guys in the world, so that definitely caught my eye,” began Velasquez in a conversation with the UFC’s website. “And just watching his fights after that, he’s always been really tough and we definitely kept our eyes on him. Anybody who fights in your division you kinda keep watch on because it’s doing your homework. So we always saw him and watched to see where his career would go, and we kinda knew at one time we would have to fight.”

That prediction will come to fruition in about eight hours on FOX when the UFC hits network television for the first time in history. Like fans/media, Velasquez has also predicted an extremely entertaining title-fight, praising Dos Santos’ stand-up and speed.

Dos Santos Sees Series Developing with Velasquez

“Definitely his boxing,” said Velasquez. “He’s got really good boxing, a lot of power in his hands, and he’s an athletic guy too. But it’s mainly his boxing. He’s won all of his fights using his boxing, and that’s definitely his most dangerous attribute.”

Whether or not Velasquez will opt to test his own degree in the sweet science against Dos Santos’ or instead rely on his superior wrestling remains to be seen. Interested parties can tune in to watch UFC on FOX: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos starting at 9:00 PM EST on FOX with preliminary action streaming through Facebook in the hours leading up to the event.